Looking back on the past two years since he took the reins as CEO of Dolly Varden Silver (TSXV: DV), Shawn Khunkhun points to a critical acquisition the company made in December 2021 as being the lynchpin to the company’s recent exploration and fundraising success.
The British Columbia-focused explorer has district-scale holdings, the Kitsault Valley project, in the southern leg of the province’s ‘Golden Triangle’.
Khunkhun tells The Northern Miner the company has undergone a metamorphosis since he took the reins in February 2020, pivoting on a better-defined strategy to de-risk the project, expand the existing resources and grow the business.
“Our goal is to either groom this project into a saleable asset in the next 36 months or to have it ready for a construction decision for ourselves. If someone like Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) were to acquire us today, we’d comprise about 15% of their total resource base,” said Kunkhun in an interview.
When the executive first came to Dolly, it held a 44 million oz. high-grade silver resource, but it had already seen 20 million oz. of production. The former 100-year-old Dolly Varden silver mining camp covers four historic mines that produced more than 19 million oz of silver over four decades beginning in 1919.
“We set to work to bring in the right shareholders and cash infusion. The strategic alignment with key investors such as Hecla and mining entrepreneur Eric Sprott helped us have one of the strongest shareholder registries out there.”
A critical development came in December 2021 when Dolly Varden acquired Fury Gold Mines’ (TSX: FURY; NYSE-AM: FURY) Homestake Ridge gold and silver project in a cash-and-scrip deal valued at $50 million.
Homestake Ridge is next to Dolly Varden’s namesake project and sits about 32 km southeast of Stewart and 113 km from the town of Terrace.